Thursday, January 10, 2013

Testing in a Time of Austerity- The Collateral Damage

Virtually every testing reform organization in the nation advocates rating schools and teachers on the basis of student test scores, and imposing far more tests to make sure this evaluation system is equitable and comprehensive. The tests and evaluation systems are quite expensive. And in times of economic growth, they might be imposed without taking away funds from other dimensions of instruction. But in times of economic stagnation, with tax revenues plummeting and government budgets being cut, spending large amounts of money on testing and evaluation leads to: *********1. Larger class size *********2. Laying off school counselors and librarians *********3. Cutting arts programs, bands and orchestras *********4. Eliminating sports programs *********5. Cutting after school programs that service students and community residents *********6. Cutting teacher salaries and/or health and pension benefits **********If you go through this list, the very programs being cut are the ones that promote student engagement and build healthy school communities. Are the values to be gained from testing and evaluation so important that it merits eliminating the very things that insure that students get personal attention and actually enjoy going to school.? **********They are if the goal is to make school a place where students learn discipline and obedience to prepare them for a life of low wage labor

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